Gantz to Netanyahu: Stop Smotrich appointment to security cabinet

"Such a man cannot sit in the same room as the IDF chief of staff and the head of the Mossad when they detail the most sensitive security plans," Benny Gantz said.

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June 24, 2019 05:26
1 minute read.
Gantz to Netanyahu: Stop Smotrich appointment to security cabinet

Tension was evident between Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of the Knesset’s new session on April 30. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to appoint Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) MK Bezalel Smotrich to the security cabinet on Sunday morning, describing the appointment as a quid pro quo in return for Smotrich’s support for a bill granting immunity from prosecution for the prime minister.

Gantz’s comments came as Netanyahu’s cabinet ministers were in the process of approving the appointment of Smotrich and URP head Rafi Peretz to the respective positions of transportation minister and education minister.

Cabinet ministers all approved the appointments Sunday morning by telephone, and the two URP leaders are now expected to be sworn in on Monday in the Knesset.

Smotrich will be also become a full member of the security cabinet, while Peretz will have observer status without the right to vote.

Gantz objected vehemently to Smotrich’s appointment in a series of tweets Sunday morning, describing it as “security lawlessness.”

“Netanyahu is abandoning our security in return for support for his [own] legal immunity,” Gantz wrote on social media.

“This is happening at a time when security realities are deteriorating and we are a quick decision away from warfare not seen in the Middle East since the 1990 Gulf War.”

Gantz recalled that as a right-wing activist leader, Smotrich once called upon other activists to block streets and fight security forces, and that he called for “diminishing” the population of the Gaza Strip.

“Such a man cannot sit in the same room as the IDF Chief of Staff and the head of the Mossad when they detail the most sensitive security plans,” Gantz said.

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.


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